Sunday, October 23, 2005

To Be Loved

Lately, God has been revealing something fundamental in the human soul that I’ve never really noticed before: our intrinsic desire to be loved. It’s the primary reason for everything we do… planted there, I believe, by God – but often “watered” with strange solutions that evaporate, kill and rot. From billboards with half-naked women and beer advertisements that declare “This Bud’s for you” but really mean “Drink this and beautiful, half-naked women will love you” to car advertisements that show little of the cars features but overtly suggest how satisfied it will make you; the advertisements clearly show it’s not the car’s features that make the sale, its how the car makes you feel. And why do we want a car, of all things, to make us feel anything? Why do we want make-up or beer or a Vice-President title or a round of applause? Why do some work jobs they will never love, just to put food on the table – while others work 80 hours in a week to reach that “big promotion?”

My answer: love. The desire to be loved by your family, your friends and your co-workers…. who all have one thing in common: They’re human and they will die. Please don’t get me wrong – desiring to be loved is not wrong. And certainly, doing things out of love for others is not a bad thing at all. It’s good. But, that human love will never replace the full and eternal love of God. Lord, why is this so hard for me to understand?

You can see it all around (and within) you; the desperate scratching and clawing for an ounce of pure, real love that no car, no man, no woman and no thing can provide. And the whole world is screaming for it! They’re dying -- no, killing themselves – just to get some. They spend hours getting ready to “go out” in the hopes they will attract love – they spend years buying bigger homes and amassing wealth so that sometime, somewhere, someone will say, “Look at him. Wow.”

“If I could just get that dress, or if he would just call, or if I just had this much money, or if I could just write that book… if I were that, then surely I would be loved. Surely that love would give me rest.” It’s so obvious, it SCREAMS from every insane move that we make! We workout for hours a week to look good – why? Is it really for our health? Maybe that’s part of the reason, but why is working out so much more of a priority for single young adults than married 45 year olds? The 45 year olds are the ones who should be concerned about their health! It’s not about health – it’s about being loved. The young adult wants someone to take notice and love.

What a powerful desire implanted in us – and what a strange way we try to satisfy it! We beat ourselves up and sacrifice even our lives for the mere hope of lasting, true love. Romeo and Juliet showed us that! Why do we identify with that story? Why do we all want to fall that desperately in love – even to the point of dying? It’s so strikingly beautiful and so awfully sad at the same time.

In most cases I’ve seen, the reason a girl gives her virginity to her boyfriend is that he promised his love will come with the act. But it doesn’t – it just brings more emptiness and shallow devotion. And the digression begins. The love we so eagerly pursued was not attained – and instead, we lose hope. If we can’t have love, we’ll have bitterness. At least bitterness is guaranteed.

Imagine, just for a moment, that all of our clawing and scratching stopped. No more flashy clothes and hairstyles, no more status symbols, no more grasping for straws. Imagine if we knew, deep in our core, that we were loved. Imagine if we no longer had to get approval – because we were already approved. Imagine if our restlessness gave in to rest. What if, we no longer had to look good to be worthy of love? What if, we no longer had to be successful to be satisfied? What if God’s love was enough? What if you could do anything you wanted with your life – because God loves you and you love Him. We’re all dying and willing to die and sacrifice for love that fades – why not die for Christ’s sake and live in the reality of His true, lasting love?

Lord, teach me to love others out of a response to the love you have for me -- not because I desire to be loved in return. Fill my desire to be loved. Teach me to stop grasping for straw intimacy and move deeper into your Throne Room. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.


Blogger M&B said...

Checked back in with your blog. Glad to read that you're still daring to think deep thoughts - appreciated reading this one in particular. How about YOUR job and YOUR relationships - drop me an email and let me know how you're doing.

Matt J

11:44 AM  

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